Rodrigo Malmierca

Qatar to Supply Oil to Cuba

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In the midst of Venezuela fighting for stability, it is losing out on Cuba looking at Qatar to meet its oil needs.

With Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro facing a serious crisis, “there is real concern (in Cuba) about the loss of earnings,” media sources confirmed a diplomat has stated after meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

Since the 2000s, Venezuela has provided oil and economic support to the Americas’ only Communist regime, while Havana has sent Caracas thousands of doctors, sports coaches and military advisers.

Many experts say there are Cuban advisers in the highest levels of the Venezuelan army.

The loss of Venezuelan oil has been weakening a Cuban economy. With a 40 percent drop in Venezuelan oil shipments in recent years, the island “has begun to look for alternative oil suppliers: Russia, Iran and other countries,” said Paul Webster Hare, a former British ambassador who has lived in Cuba and Venezuela to AFP.

It is in such circumstances that Qatar could receive foreign trade minister Rodrigo Malmierca of Cuba in Doha, while the latter also visited Algeria Monday.

Ironically, Venezuela has been claiming to be a close ally of Qatar and a  senior Venezuelan minister had underlined a deep friendship between Qatar and his country, saying both sides support each other.

Ruben Dario Molina, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Asia and the Middle East, said they appreciated the strong bi-lateral relations with Qatar, and severely criticized the blockade imposed on Qatar. Molina further added that the Venezuelan government, since the beginning of the crisis, has announced its readiness to provide all forms of support and assistance to mitigate the harm caused to Qatar. Whether Qatar will now go out of its way to help Venezuela’s closest socialist ally, is something to wait and watch.

A senior Iranian security official said on Wednesday Iran would “strongly respond” to any violation of its airspace.

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